[DRAFT] Accessible Platform Architectures Working Group Charter

The mission of the Accessible Platform Architectures Working Group (APA WG, formerly part of the Protocols and Formats Working Group) is to ensure W3C specifications provide support for accessibility to people with disabilities. The group advances this mission through review of W3C specifications, development of technical support materials, collaboration with other Working Groups, and coordination of harmonized accessibility strategies within W3C.

This mission is complementary to the work of other Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) groups.

Join the Accessible Platform Architectures Working Group.

End date 31 July 2018
Confidentiality Proceedings are public.
Initial Chairs Janina Sajka
Initial Team Contacts
(FTE %: 40)
Michael Cooper (25%)
Shadi Abou-Zahra (5%)
Liam Quinn (10%)
Usual Meeting Schedule Teleconferences: Weekly
Face-to-face: approximately 2 per year


This Working Group is one of two split from the former Protocols and Formats Working Group. This group focuses on technology review while the ARIA Working Group focuses on technology development. While there were structural reasons favoring this change, it is uncertain at the time of charter development if this split will achieve the efficiency and effectiveness gains anticipated. The groups will evaluate their success one year into the charter period, and if they determine that the effectiveness is reduced from the previous model, they may propose a new charter that recombines the two groups.

Success Criteria


The following deliverables would be published as W3C Technical Reports and supporting resources.

Other Deliverables

  • Research reports;
  • Feedback to W3C specification developers;
  • Gap analysis and roadmap for inclusion of people with cognitive disabilities;
  • Coordination matrix to track Working Groups, active specifications under development, known accessibility interests, and people with relevant expertise;
  • Specification review tracking tool to record formal and informal accessibility comments, and their discussion and disposition, made on specifications over time.


Note: The group will document significant changes from this initial schedule on the group home page.
Specification FPWD Note
Web Technology Accessibility Guidelines Jul 2015 Jul 2017
Inaccessibility of CAPTCHA Sep 2015 Sep 2016
Media Accessibility User Requirements
Aug 2015

A detailed plan to achieve these milestones, and known deviations from these initially chartered milestones, is documented in the {future resource} APA WG Project Management Plan.


Dependencies on W3C Groups

ARIA Working Group
Collaborate on joint deliverables.
CSS Working Group
Coordinate on general CSS accessibility topics.
Internationalization Activity
Coordinate how to address accessibility and internationalization in W3C specs.
HTML Working Group and Web Applications Working Group (expected to combine and become the Web Platform Working Group)
Coordinate on general HTML and web API accessibility topics.
SVG Working Group
Coordinate on general graphics accessibility topics.
Timed Text Working Group
Ensure Media Accessibility User Requirements are met in TTML and WebVTT.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Working Group
Work on HTML 5 and ARIA Techniques for WCAG 2.0.
Web Real-Time Communications Working Group
Ensure Media Accessibility User Requirements are met in WebRTC.

Furthermore, Accessible Platform Architectures Working Group expects to follow these W3C Recommendations:

Liaisons to External Groups

APA WG does not maintain formal liaisons to external groups, but does coordinate on an as-needed basis on topics of mutual relevance. At charter time, these organizations include:


To be successful, the Accessible Platform Architectures Working Group is expected to have 10 or more active participants for its duration, with participation where possible including representation from industry including browser and assistive technology implementers, disability communities, and accessibility research. Effective participation in the Accessible Platform Architectures Working Group is expected to consume two to four hours per week for each participant; twice as much per week for chairs and editors.


The Working Group communicates by regular teleconferences, email, IRC, Web-Based Survey, issue tracker comments, and occasional face to face meetings. At charter time, the group uses the following mailing lists:

The Working Group may form task forces, which may conduct work using separate teleconferences, email lists, and other tools. At time of charter, task forces include: Cognitive and Learning Disabilities Accessibility Task Force (jointly with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines WG), HTML Accessibility Task Force (jointly with the HTML Working Group), and Specification Accessibility Task Force.

Details about available communication mechanisms, as well as other information about the group (deliverables, participants, face-to-face meetings, teleconferences, etc.) is available from the Accessible Platform Architectures Working Group home page as well as the WAI home page.

This group coordinates with other WAI groups to ensure a common approach to addressing accessibility requirements.

Decision Policy

As explained in the Process Document (section 3.3), this group will seek to make decisions when there is consensus. Consensus may be reached and ascertained in any Working Group forum, but the decision must be ratified by an email or Web-Based Survey Call for Consensus or Call for Objection. Specific procedures to measure consensus are detailed in the {@@URI} Accessible Platform Architecture Decision Policy. This policy may be updated occasionally as the needs of the group evolve; updates are ratified using the version of the policy then in effect.

When the Chair puts a question and observes dissent, after due consideration of different opinions, the Chair should record a decision (possibly after a formal vote) and any objections, and move on. When the Chair conducts a formal vote to reach a decision on a substantive technical issue, eligible voters may vote on a proposal one of three ways: for a proposal, against a proposal, or abstain. For the proposal to pass there must be more votes for the proposal than against. In case of a tie, the Chair will decide the outcome of the proposal.

This charter is written in accordance with Section 3.4, Votes of the W3C Process Document and includes no voting procedures beyond what the Process Document requires.

The Working Group maintains specific procedures to establish and measure consensus and address objections in the Accessible Platform Architectures Working Group Decision Policy.

Patent Policy

This Working Group operates under the W3C Patent Policy (5 February 2004 Version). To promote the widest adoption of Web standards, W3C seeks to issue Recommendations that can be implemented, according to this policy, on a Royalty-Free basis.

For more information about disclosure obligations for this group, please see the W3C Patent Policy Implementation.

About this Charter

This charter for the Accessible Platform Architectures Working Group has been created according to section 6.2 of the Process Document. In the event of a conflict between this document or the provisions of any charter and the W3C Process, the W3C Process shall take precedence.

Please also see the previous charter for this group. A @@diff version between this charter and the previous charter is available. Primary changes in this charter:

Michael Cooper, APA WG Team Contact
Janina Sajka, APA WG Chair

$Date: 2015/07/01 22:10:15 $